Recently I joined a message-board known as Urban Planet, being there I went to find the Baton Rouge forum. After finding it and introducing myself I got into a discussion on how to improve the roads of Baton Rouge.
To properly participate I had to get familiar with the cities main roads so I of course went to…The googlenet. Googlenet really helped me get orientated with the area. While on googlenet maps I realized that this city had a really good interstate impression, unlike most American cities. This impression has allowed them to keep many historical buildings and neighborhoods, another thing most American cities can not say.
For a city the size of Baton Rouge you would not expect their traffic to be bad, but actually the city is the most commuted in the state. In fact it has been said, “Baton Rouge has the traffic for a city twice it’s size”…ouch! Let me go get some water from the river to put out that burn! After spending almost a month and a half hear I can say it is certainly true. Most of the traffic is located in South Baton Rouge, this area holds most of the jobs, shopping centers, and LSU. This area is such an important part of the city that when many people in this largely unincorporated area tried to break away, that effort is burning down with no river water to save it. So the fact that the traffic hear is so bad is a major problem.
I began looking for a solution, and I think I have one.
As an Urban Revolutionist, it’s my goal to make modern cities work. Some Urbanest call for the destruction of interstates in our cities, I however, disagree. I believe that instead of getting rid of them, we should embrace them. For Baton Rouge that would be fairly easy, looking at googlenet maps you will see that the city is comprised of three ‘branches’. The first to branch of from the cities main bridge across the river, one goes North, the other South. The South branch splits around Citi Place (an outdoor shopping and business park) the third branch goes more Southward while the second continues on towards New Orleans.
The biggest problem with Traffic that I noticed is that for people living in the cities closer suburbs (Prairieville or Central/Zachary) There is only one Interstate branch. Considering that most of the cities workforce comes from these suburbs I figured there must be a way to decrease the traffic along those branches. The next traffic problem occurred on the states main bridge or ‘The New Bridge’. This bridge sees the most traffic as it is the only access point for people across the river into Baton Rouge and beyond. In a sense Baton Rouge is the gateway to South Louisiana. Having one access point for an important city is likely the worst thing I have ever heard, so a solution was needed. This solution needed to address all traffic concerns and create more access points into the city. So I created this:
Orange = Interstate
Red = Loop
Looking at the map the first change is the creating of a fourth branch in the interstate, this branch creates a second entry point for Prairieville out of Hwy 61’s lower half. The next change is the North Branch now is a straight shot from Downtown to the Airport. This means that the cities Downtown can now expand over the land left by the previous route of the North Branch.
However, the biggest change is the creation of a city loop. This loop created a second bridge into the city and the renovation a third (or the ‘Old Bridge’). The loop turns Airline Hwy. into an Interstate level road, something that many city natives would love. In addition the loop creates two interstate branches in West Baton Rouge/ Port Allen. I’m imagining that the loop would be toll.
In conclusion while this is not my final proposal I hope you guys get the main idea of it, in short this plan, or one like it would have massive benefits for the city and help it decrease traffic, without creating a large city eye sore and expanding the cities Downtown.
Thanks for reading, and joining the Revolution.